Former Senate leader, Ali Ndume has decried the total collapse of major road network in Borno State, calling for Federal Government’s urgent intervention to lessen the pathetic condition of the people in the state.
Ndume, who spoke to newsmen shortly after meeting with the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola in the company of other lawmakers from the state on Monday, said the call had become necessary following the harrowing experience residents and commuters faced.
He said work on some of the roads like Biu-Gombe, Biu-Maiduguri, Biu-Damaturu, Biu-Gombi, Bama-Gwoza-Mubi, Gwoza-Damboa-Buni Yadi which were captured in previous budgets and awarded had not kicked off fully.
Ndume said no serious work was being carried out on those roads, adding that a journey that should ordinarily take commuters one and half hours often took more than six hours.
According to him, besides the stress of plying the roads, most of the roads posed security threat to commuters, as kidnappers and other criminally minded persons kept taking advantage of vehicles slowing down to avoid potholes, to abduct commuters and perpetrate other forms of crime.
Ndume said “I met the minister in company of other lawmakers from the state to let him know what our people are going through.
“We came to beg the minister to intervene to take the hardship away from the people and from our discussion with him, we hope that serious work will commence on those roads.
“As we speak, there is only one connecting road that is motorable. From Maiduguri to Biu is 186 km drive, which is about one and half hours but because of the insurgency, the road is completely closed. So, to travel that road now takes a minimum of six hours.
“The sad story is that the road from Biu to Buni Yadi is so bad. The road leads to Sambisa forest and if anyone should travel there, the person has to slow down and you know what that means.
“The only road we started using since last week is Biu-Potiskum-Damaturu road. So, as we speak, Maiduguri is locked. The only exit is through Borno South and that is not good at all, considering the traffic in that axis,” he said.
The lawmaker urged the federal government to prioritise road network in the state to ease the pains of the people, who he said were already devastated by insurgency.